It was an appalling development for the team captain and supposed leader, who, instead of helping Boston scratch back from a deficit that was as high as 19 points, lost his composure and was forced to watch the remainder of the game from the locker room in disgrace.
Shouldn't Pierce be past this? All indications were he had matured into a reliable elder statesman, a Celtics winner who had taken his rightful place among the greats in this storied franchise.
Yet Bill Russell was never tossed from two playoff games. Bob Cousy, John Havlicek and Larry Bird never were, either.
Veterans are supposed to know better. When you are tagged with one technical, you cannot afford another — under any circumstance.
Those are the words of Jackie MacMullen – one of the most respected basketball journalists in the world. And if she is drudging up memories of Pierce's immature past (see Indiana series in 2005), then you know the Truth misplayed his hand yesterday.
Aside from the horrible 4th quarter officiating, Pierce had to be most frustrated with his play. He struggled to find his groove from the opening tip, committing 3 bumbling Tony Allen-esque turnovers in the 1st quarter.
I'm willing to cut Pierce some slack on the ejection. I hope Ed Malloy's atroicous decision is scrutinized by NBA brass and he quietly disappears from the playoffs.
But if the Celtics are to win this series, Pierce needs to be the guy who provokes technical fouls, not collects them.
Related link: Globe – Shouldn't be trying tough stuff | Herald – Pierce ejection puzzles, hurts Celtics | ESNP Boston (Forsberg) – Celtics lost Game 1 by losing composure | CSNNE – Celtics, ref react to Pierce ejection | WEEI – Pierce victim of own and referee incompetence |
On Page 2, Doc says his guys were overthinking it.
“I thought [Rondo’s three fouls] was huge,’’ Rivers said. “The only thing I told Rondo, I thought him and [Kevin Garnett] played the game in thought instead of instinctively. They were thinking about what they should do instead of playing. Those two guys probably have the best instincts on our team. They both played with the right spirit, it just didn’t go well.’’
The Celtics need more from KG and Rondo. How's that for an obvious understatement?
The rest of the links:
Globe – Heat defense makes loss hard to get past | Track meet would be bad | Herald – Jonesing to do better | Celts overheat in opener | Wade comes upon offensive oasis | CSNNE – Jones lights up Celtics | Ref said verbal taunt got Pierce ejected | Cs, Heat set tone for physical series | WEEI – Doc salutes Wade | Doc: Heat chippy in Gm 1 | ProJo: Boston withers in South Beach | Wade kicks it up notch |